The Downken family history stretches back to the clans of the Dalriadan kingdom on the sea-swept Hebrides
islands and mountainous western coast of Scotland
. The name Downken is derived from the Gaelic personal name
"Donnchad," which means "brown warrior". The personal name Donnchad
is composed of two elements; "donn," which means "brown" and "cath," which means "warrior".
Early Origins of the Downken family
The surname Downken was first found in Northumberland
, where they held great estates but were a branch of the distinguished Scottish Clan
of Duncan who were originally of Iona
in the Hebrides
, but changed their name and continued to use the basic Coat of Arms of the Duncan Clan.
Early History of the Downken family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Downken research.Another 123 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Downken History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Downken Spelling Variations
Spelling in the medieval era was a highly imprecise process. Translation, particularly from Gaelic to English, was little better. For these reasons, early Scottish names are rife with spelling variations
. In various documents Downken has been spelled Donkin, Downkin, Donking, Donken, Downken and others.
Early Notables of the Downken family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Downken Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Downken family to the New World and Oceana
Settlers from Scotland
put down roots in communities all along the east coast of North America. Some moved north from the American colonies to Canada as United Empire Loyalists during the American War of Independence
. As Clan
societies and highland games started in North America in the 20th century many Scots rediscovered parts of their heritage. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Downken were among those contributors: Patrick Donkin arrived in Pennsylvania in 1820.
The Downken Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Disce pati
Motto Translation: Learn to suffer.